Gig Scene: Four 45s review +Voice star for Xmas Market

Frances Wood of The Voice fame.
Frances Wood of The Voice fame.

“The Four 45s are unusual group. They’ve got three singers and three songwriters. They’ve been together less than a year but they’ve already supported The Bluetones and recorded in the same studio as the Kaiser Chiefs, ” writes Gig Scene Editor Graham Chalmers.

Who’s this fella ranting on stage at the microphone in a striped shirt and brown leather jacket in the packed and slightly lairy Alexandra?

Oh, it’s me, called into MC-ing duties by this four-piece, self-proclaimed classic British rock n roll band who somehow defy the pigeonholes they’ve set themselves.

“Now I’m not saying they are the new Stone Roses, though they do stand in a lineage going all the way back to The Who and the Rolling Stones. . but they don’t have to be. They are themselves and that’s good enough. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the greatest rock n roll band in the world of Harrogate!”

With sound by Andy Hardy’s True Sounds allowing the band’s powerful dynamics to be translated properly in the tricky environment of The Alex, there’s something of the Cavern and the early days of The Beatles about The Four 45s.

That raw enthusiasm and self-confident desire to connect with an audience quickly in a way that treats the crowd as equals without letting themselves down.

But there’s more to The Four 45s than charisma and passion and good tunes,

In anyone else’s hands, these catchy, bread and butter pop tunes might end up formulaic.

That they’re not is down to the way the band let the songs mutuate in any way they fancy.

Depending on the emotions in the song and the band’s own musical ambitions, a toe tapper can evolve into a lengthy instrumental workout, a catchy ballad can stop and re-start in a different direction.

And that’s because The Four 45s are a real band, not just a decent group with a likable front man.

Rufus Beckett’s ever-moving, melodic basslines contrast with the no-nonsense foundations of Nick McTague’s firm beats.

Joe Flanagan’s big hearted lead vocals contrast with Nick Turner’s sharp, rippling lead guitar lines.

As I proclaimed in front of the band’s fans and the hecklers and the merry revellers, The Four 45s are an unusual group - and unusually good , which is why they’re headlining a new night I’m launching at Harrogate Theatre circle bar at the end of December. More news next week.

It’s good to see Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Harrogate Borough Council and local shops pulling out all the stops at Harrogate Christmas Market this year.

From tomorrow, Friday to Sunday, the festive treats (including the lights switch-on tonight, Thursday) will feature live music by young local acts and a genuine star from The Voice on a covered stage opposite the White Hart Hotel at the bottom of the Stray on Montpellier.

Thursday: Henshaws Hotspots (noon).

Friday: AMPS Awards highlights (5.45pm onwards) with young trio Tweak from King James’s School in Knaresborough and AMPs Awards finalists Dukes of Bevington.

Saturday: Ont’ Sofa present a music night from 4pm-7pm with singer Frances Wood (of The Voice on BBC TV) and more.

Sunday: DJ Rory Hoy (3.15pm), Lucy Borgen and Youcef Preston. By the way, Youcef will be dressed as an inflatable turkey all day to raise funds for Martin House Hospice!

From one good piece of Harrogate news to another, Monteys Rock Café in The Ginnel in the centre of town has a great line-up of local acts live in the run-up to the festive season. Starting with an acoustic session from the mighty originals rock band Kassius this Sunday night followed by the ever-popular party band Dr Thirsty next Thursday, November 29, it’s followed by a CETA acoustic night for charity on Sunday, December 2, MFOR on Saturday, December 8 and Empress on Saturday, December 15.

Talking of CETA, rock night Bottom of the Bottle takes on punk night North Yorkshire Hardcore this Sunday night upstairs at Rehab in a now annual CETA and Cancer Research charity gig hosted by DJ Trev.

The last I heard about CETA was the very good news that Chris and his family has been told he’d been accepted for treatment in the USA.

Knaresborough electro-pop band Royalty 3 are back in action to unveil some brand new original songs plus some cracking covers at the Cross Keys in Knaresborough this Saturday night from 8.45pm.

Please note, Friday night’s concert at Henshaws starring excellent acoustic folkie has been cancelled duer to an illness which has hit all his touring schedule to next Spring.

Refunds for ticket holders are available on 07910 984618.

Finally, don’t forget true British r’n’b legends Dr Feelgood play Ripley Town Hall on Saturday, December 1.

For the few of you still pining for the late, great Lee Brillieux, please note their current lead singer Robert Kane has now been with the band longer than the original members managed!